Taiwan Detains Ex-President
SHANGHAI — Chen Shui-bian, the former president of Taiwan, was detained by police in Taipei on Tuesday after prosecutors sought his formal arrest on corruption and money laundering charges, according to Taipei television.
Mr. Chen, who served as president from 2000 until earlier this year and headed the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, was led to court in handcuffs Tuesday afternoon. He paused briefly before cameras, raised his arms up over his head and shouted: “Long Live Taiwanese independence” and “political oppression.”
But the hearing was suspended after Mr. Chen asked to be taken to the hospital, according to Agence France-Presse. An opposition lawmaker said that the former president said he had been pushed from behind while leaving the prosecutors’ office and wanted to be examined for injuries, the agency reported.
The detention was part of a widening corruption investigation that has already ensnared several of Mr. Chen’s senior aides, as well as his wife, son, daughter and brother- in-law, each of whom has been named a defendant in the case. Mr. Chen’s wife is now on trial in Taipei for money laundering.
Mr. Chen, 57, has denied any wrongdoing and accused his successor, Ma Ying-jeou, and the ruling Kuomintang Party of a politically motivated attack on him and his family and suggested that his strong support for Taiwan’s independence , behind the investigation.
Mr. Ma succeeded Mr. Chen in May and has pushed for warmer relations between mainland China and Taiwan. Last week, officials from Beijing met in Taiwan with Mr. Ma and other high-ranking officials, the highest level exchange in since the end of the civil war in 1949, although the encounter provoked strong protests.
Mr. Chen served eight years as a populist leader known for his tough, anti-China rhetoric, but grew increasingly unpopular after his wife was charged with corruption in 2006 and his son-in-law was arrested on insider trading charges.
Prosecutors are looking into whether Mr. Chen embezzled money while serving as president and whether his family members and aides were involved in laundering millions of dollars worth of campaign funds.